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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

The Neocon Media Machine

"A Great Little Racket": The Neocon Media Machine By Eli Clifton From high-brow intellectualism to tabloid spin, the neoconservative movement has evolved in ways that its early progenitors could hardly have imagined. The result is a well-oiled media machine that continues to impact policymaking, even as the neoconservatives themselves fall deeper into ill repute. Read…

"A Great Little Racket": The Neocon Media Machine
By Eli Clifton

From high-brow intellectualism to tabloid spin, the neoconservative movement has evolved in ways that its early progenitors could hardly have imagined. The result is a well-oiled media machine that continues to impact policymaking, even as the neoconservatives themselves fall deeper into ill repute. Read full story.

RELATED RIGHT WEB PROFILES

Irving Kristol
The founder of a number of influential neoconservative journals, Irving Kristol’s media enterprise helped blaze the faction’s ideological trail. However, the neocon "godfather" has remained largely on the sidelines in the campaign to extend the war on terror and reshape the Middle East.

William Kristol
Cofounder of the Weekly Standard and the Project for the New American Century, William Kristol (son of Irving) spearheaded the neoconservative resurgence in U.S. politics in the 1990s and played a key role championing the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror.

National Interest
Founded by Irving Kristol in the mid-1980s to serve as a foreign affairs counterpart to his public policy outlet the Public Interest, the National Interest has in recent years turned into a forum of fierce debate over the best course for U.S. foreign policy, pitting realists against neoconservatives.

Weekly Standard
"Speaking to and for power," the neoconservative incubator Weekly Standard, part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, has been an effective champion of U.S. overseas adventurism.

Rupert Murdoch
With Fox News, the Weekly Standard, and some 175 additional media holdings at his disposal, Murdoch and his News Corp. have been formidable friends of the Bush administration and its neocon allies.

Norman Podhoretz
Editor of the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary for decades, Norman Podhoretz has shaped many of the themes that have become core elements of neoconservative discourse—the fight against "appeasement," overcoming "moral weakness," the centrality of the Holocaust, and the righteousness of U.S. military power. More recently, he has become a vocal champion of the notion that America is currently engaged in a deadly global struggle that he terms "World War IV."

John Podhoretz
"JPod," as he is known in some corners of the blogosphere, is a neocon scion who contributes to a number of News Corp. media outlets, including Fox News, the Weekly Standard, and the New York Post. He frequently mixes pop culture with politics and is terrified by the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Robert Kagan
Columnist for the Washington Post, writer for the Weekly Standard, cofounder of the Project for the New American Century, scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and author of a several influential books on U.S. foreign policy, Kagan is a true believer in the efficacy of hard power who supports higher troop levels in Iraq.

Charles Krauthammer
With his columns appearing in the Washington Post and dozens of other U.S. newspapers, Krauthammer is a highly influential proponent of the neocon agenda, including expanding the war on terror to Iran and Syria and imposing democracy on U.S. opponents.

Max Boot
From his perch at outlets like the Los Angeles Times and the Weekly Standard, Max Boot, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, justifies torture, calls for occupying foreign oil fields, and argues for embracing America’s "imperial role."

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Featured Profiles

The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.


Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.


David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.


Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.


Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


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From the Wires

A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.


Vladimir Putin excels at taking advantage of mistakes made by Russia’s adversaries to further his country’s interests. Donald Trump’s Iran policy has given Putin plenty of opportunity to do that.


The Trump administration’s claims about purported Iranian threats have been repeated by credulous reporters and TV news programs far and wide.


This is the cartoon that the international edition of the New York Times should have run, at least as regards U.S. policy toward Iran.


The assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s renegade general and leader of the self-anointed Libyan National Army (LNA), has forced an indefinite postponement of key UN peace efforts in the country even as the Trump White House announced that the president recognized Haftar’s “important” role in fighting terrorists.


With all eyes focused these days on Donald Trump and his myriad crimes, John Bolton’s speeches are a reminder that even worse options are waiting in the wings.


Advocates of cutting U.S. aid to Israel rather than using it as leverage must understand how this aid works, how big a challenge it represents for advocacy, and how to make a potentially successful argument against it.


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